The wonderfully quirky Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year has a new winner: Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way, by Michael R. Young. The prize is given by British trade magazine The Bookseller, a leading trade magazine for the book industry with a website providing news and comment about the book business.
I discovered this contest in 2008, and have looked forward to the results each year since then. It’s not always about the titles themselves, which actually seem to have grown less odd each year. More often I have enjoyed the way Horace Bent, The Bookseller’s diarist and custodian of the Diagram Prize, describes the contenders and the contest. See if you don’t agree:
“In the end, it wasn’t even close. Much like the tyrant himself, Managing a Dental Practice the Genghis Khan Way ruthlessly slaughtered the opposition, and scored twice as many votes as the runner-up, 8th International Friction Stir Welding Symposium Proceedings.”
Bent also notes that the winner:
“…joins an illustrious list of former winners including Living with Crazy Buttocks, Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers, How to Avoid Huge Ships, and Highlights in the History of Concrete…I am delighted that in economically troublesome times publishers the world over have continued to publish incredibly niche titles with powerfully obscure titles.”
What I also find so appealing about this contest is that it apparently started as a way to avoid boredom at the Frankfurt Book Fair more than 30 years ago.